Michael Jackson and the mother of two of his children are close to reaching an agreement on visitation rights that will be "to everybody's satisfaction," according to Jackson's attorney.
Deborah Rowe Jackson, a former nurse for the entertainer's dermatologist, was married to Jackson for three years in the 1990s and is the mother of his 8-year-old son, Prince Michael, and 7-year-old daughter, Paris.
Rowe voluntarily gave up her parental rights in 2001, but a judge voided the order at her request in 2004 after her attorneys argued proper court procedures weren't followed, AP informs.
Rowe's attorneys said at the time she wanted a change in status because Jackson had been charged with child molestation and was associating with the Nation of Islam, which has espoused views many consider anti-Semitic. Rowe is Jewish.
Jackson, 46, was found not guilty of child molestation in June following a trial in which Rowe praised him as a good father surrounded by "opportunistic vultures" trying to benefit from his troubles. She also said she hoped to rebuild a relationship with Jackson and the children, calling them "my family."
Jackson's lawyers are appealing the decision to void the order terminating Rowe's parental rights. But attorney Michael Abrams said Tuesday the dispute may soon be settled out of court.
"The resolution will be to everybody's satisfaction," he was quoted as saying by AP. "I'm hoping everybody will go away very happy."
Abrams said the two sides were discussing several issues besides whether Rowe would be allowed to see the children, but declined to elaborate. He said it was unclear whether Rowe had any parental rights.
"I'm not sure," he said. "It's kind of debatable and it's very much up in the air."
Rowe's attorney, Iris Finsilver, said there was no question the order terminating Rowe's rights no longer applied.
"It seems to me that a voided order is void," she said.
Finsilver declined discuss whether a settlement was near.
"I wouldn't want to jeopardize anything for the parties," she said.
Rowe gave up custody in an October 2001 court proceeding in which she said she was willing to do so "because Michael is a wonderful man ... a brilliant father."
She said she had been visiting the children every 45 days at one point, but "it felt like an intrusion on their life and they're going to have enough intrusions as it is."
"I'm absolutely around if ever Michael needs me, if the children need me for a liver, kidney, a hello, whatever, I will always be around for him," she said. "These are his children. I had the children for him. They wouldn't be on this planet if it wasn't for my love of him. I did it for him to become a father. Not for me to become a mother. You earn the title parent. I have done absolutely nothing to earn that title."
Rowe also said at the time that she understood she would not be allowed to reinstate her parental rights.
Jackson also has a third child, Prince Michael II, who is also known as "Blanket." The boy's mother has not been identified.
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